Big 12 Basketball

Big 12 Portal Thoughts: TCU Building A Beast For 2024-25

Hailey Van Lith 11 as The LSU Tigers take on the Rice Owls in the 1st round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament in Baton Rouge, LA at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Friday, March 22, 2024.

The TCU Horned Frogs women’s basketball team endured a rough season due to injuries, but still won 21 games and reached the WBIT in coach Mark Campbell’s first season.

At one point the injuries were so bad for TCU that they had to have open tryouts for walk-on positions to have enough players to safely back up their remaining scholarship players. Campbell said he had never been a part of anything like it.


Now? The Horned Frogs are a trendy preseason Top 25 team thanks to Campbell’s and his staff’s work in the portal, luring some star power to Fort Worth and one big break in the medical hardship waiver department.

In this edition of Portal Thoughts we take a look at where the TCU women are now and what’s left to do this offseason.

TCU’s Losses (2)

In terms of scholarship players that ran out of eligibility, guard Jaden Owens was done after she suffered a season-ending injury in January, a heartbreaking end to a career that started at Baylor. She transferred to TCU to play out her final season.

Also out is guard Tara Manumaleuga, who provided the Horned Frogs with solid playing time during her years in Fort Worth.

Due to injuries in January, the Horned Frogs had to go find walk-ons to fill out their roster. As of May, players that were listed on their 2023-24 roster that are not listed on that 2024-25 roster that fit that category are forward Sarah Sylvester, guard Piper Davis, guard Ella Hamlin and guard Mekhayia Moore.

TCU’s Transfer Losses (5)

Transfer losses are another story. The Horned Frogs lost five players to the portal, which closed on May 1.

TCU will see one of them again in Sydney Harris, a guard who transferred to Big 12 rival Iowa State. Harris really came on for the Horned Frogs in February and March and averaged nearly 10 points per game.

Two Horned Frogs ended up at Tulsa — forward Jade Clack, who was part of former coach Raegan Pebley’s last recruiting class, and guard Paige Bradley.


Guard Victoria Flores ended up at Rice, and forward Bre’Yon White is still looking for a landing spot.

Combined, the Horned Frogs lost about 16 points from its transfers.

TCU’s Transfer Gains (4)

The class is headlined by former LSU and Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith, who has one year of eligibility left. She averaged 11.6 points and 3.6 rebounds last season with the Tigers, but landing at TCU may be a better match for her offensive game.

She may not have to handle the ball as a point quite as much with the transfer of Maddie Scherr, a Kentucky guard who averaged 12.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists. The Horned Frogs also pulled Oregon State guard Donovyn Hunter, who averaged 6.8 points and 3.7 assists last season.

Finally, TCU nabbed guard Taylor Bigby from USC, where she wasn’t getting a lot of playing time but averaged nearly five points per game. TCU could benefit from her length and desire to make an impact.

The Horned Frogs have two new double-digit scorers and three guards that averaged more than three assists per game last season.

TCU’s Recruiting Gains (0)

Yep. None. The Horned Frogs’ only early signing in November was Haley Cavinder, who opted to return to college basketball for the 2024-25 season with the Horned Frogs. But, after her sister, Hanna, decided to return for one more season with Miami (FL), Haley transferred that day.


Set to Return (7)

TCU will return their top three scorers from a season ago. Center Sedona Prince (19.7 points, 9.7 rebounds) got an injury hardship waiver to play one more year after she missed considerable time during the season. Guard Madison Conner (19.2 points) is back and was one of the best 3-point shooters in the Big 12. Guard Agnes Emma-Nnopu (10.7 points, 7.2 rebounds) is a great fit alongside the pair and Is their best perimeter rebounder.

Forward Aaliyah Roberson and guard Una Jovanovic both averaged nearly eight points last year and gave the Horned Frogs great minutes, whether it was off the bench or in the starting lineup.

Guard Knisha Godfrey and forward DaiJa Turner are both set to return. Godfrey missed most of last season due to an injury.

What’s Left?

This team looks deep and talented and it appears it has two more scholarships to give. Given the amount of talent, snagging a couple of players with future potential would be a solid way to go. But Campbell’s work in the portal has given the Horned Frogs Top 25 buzz and it isn’t even June.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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